The 11th annual charity event ‘Race for the Cure’ took place in Sarajevo on Sunday, September 30.
The event, which is organized by the Association ‘Think Pink/Zajedno smo jedno’ (‘Together we are one’) in cooperation with 22 breast cancer survivors’ NGOs from across Bosnia and Herzegovina, is aimed at raising awareness about breast cancer and the need for empowerment of women’s health in the fight against the disease.
A special focus was set on providing information about the importance of early detection of breast cancer, which greatly increases the chances for a successful and less radical treatment.
This year’s event brought together a record number of 8,000 participants, and it consisted of race and a walk at Marijin Dvor, the main part passing through Vilsonovo Setaliste Street.
It also included a session of Zumba aerobics and other fitness activities, and ended on a highly positive note with a prize-awarding ceremony and a music performance of region’s famous pop singer Sergej Cetkovic.
‘Race for the Cure’ was organized with the support of the U.S. Embassy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and U.S. Ambassador Maureen Cormack attended the event walking alongside numerous participants and breast cancer survivors.
UK Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Matthew Field also participated in the race, running together with his five-year-old son Oscar.
In a statement to Pulse.ba prior to the beginning of the race, Field said he was really looking forward to running in support of this cause as well as to the participation in the event’s future editions. “I think it is a fantastic event. We are really pleased to be here, we think this is a really important cause, which we want to support”, the ambassador pointed out.
Speaking for Pulse.ba, Regional Director of the Association ‘Think Pink/Zajedno smo jedno’ Nela Hasic underlined that over the last two years this project had grown into a domestic organization in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which increasingly relies on the funding in this country, adding that such way of functioning was the future of stability of such organizations.
“We have regular support of the U.S. Embassy, and we are extremely grateful to them”, said Hasic. When it comes to health empowerment initiative in terms of education and raising awareness about breast cancer, she said that progress was visible in all segments, especially compared to the period before the first ever ‘Race for the Cure’ in Sarajevo in 2008.
Hasic specified that a lot more women in Bosnia and Herzegovina go to regular check-ups, so there are fewer cases of discovering this disease at a late stage. “All that is a result of massive efforts, education, activities on raising awareness, eleven editions of ‘Race for the Cure’, thousands of free examinations, hundreds of thousands of educational materials, including 12 conferences we have organized during this period”, she added.
‘Race for the Cure’ is part of a global Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP) for developing services to improve the lives of women with breast cancer and their families. All proceeds from the event will go into providing women in rural environments with free mammograms and securing first-aid packages for the post-surgical care for all women of Bosnia and Herzegovina who are fighting breast cancer.